MSNBC Banned From Kyle Rittenhouse Courtroom

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Judge bans MSNBC from Kenosha courthouse after report of producer following jurors.

Nov. 18, 2021, 1:19 p.m. ET

Nov. 18, 2021, 1:19 p.m. ET

Judge Bruce Schroeder in the Kenosha County Courthouse this week.
Judge Bruce Schroeder in the Kenosha County Courthouse this week.Credit…Pool photo by Sean Krajacic

KENOSHA, Wis. — The judge overseeing the Kyle Rittenhouse trial said on Thursday that a producer for MSNBC had followed a bus carrying jurors home from the courthouse the previous night. Judge Bruce Schroeder called it an “extremely serious matter” and said he was banning anyone affiliated with the cable network from the courthouse.

During a brief hearing on Thursday morning, Judge Schroeder said Kenosha Police officers had noticed a car following the bus by about a block. At one point, it ran a red light. When the officers pulled the car over, Judge Schroeder said, the man driving said he was a producer working with MSNBC and that someone who worked for the network in New York had instructed him to follow the jurors.

The Kenosha Police Department said the man, whom the judge identified as James Morrison, had been released after being taken into custody and given traffic citations and that he had not taken any pictures of the jurors.

In a statement, NBC News said the man was a freelancer and that while he had “received a traffic citation” near the vehicle carrying the jurors, he had “never contacted or intended to contact the jurors during deliberations.” The network said that the man had also not photographed or intended to photograph the jurors.

Judge Schroeder’s banning of MSNBC from the courtroom on Thursday came one day after he blasted the news coverage of the Rittenhouse trial during an unrelated hearing in the case. During that hearing, he suggested he might reconsider whether to allow cameras in the courtroom in future trials.

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